I finally finished Scott Berkun's Mindfire essays, after the library sent me 2 overdue email notices and a paper one. I'm sure I owe them enough in late fees to have bought my own copy of the book.
My favorite essay was the one on creativity. I can't find it online, though I suspect it's somewhere on his blog. The salient points were:
- Creativity isn't some magical power that only a lucky few are blessed with
- Creativity comes from combining known ideas to make new ones
- You need to "practice" being creative to get better at it
One of his suggestions was to keep an "idea journal" handy so you can jot down interesting thoughts and ideas. It's a pretty simple concept and reminded me of something I read ages ago about doing a "daily brainstorming practice" in order to keep those creativity brain cells humming. I wish I remember where I read that, but the only thing I can remember was thinking that the author was a little...odd.
Yesterday a friend posted a link to this fantastic blog post about accomplishing goals by making just 15 minutes a day for them, instead of procrastinating until that mythical time where we'll have a HUGE chunk of time to work.
Guilty as charged here. Before kids, I worked best under pressure, spending whole days cranking through projects fueled by Starbucks chai and lots of PB&J sandwiches. Well, as you can guess, with 2 kids under 5, I don't get the luxury of whole days to myself to work on personal projects.
My final inspiration was Laura Vanderkam's excellent article listing things to do when you have 5 minutes instead of checking email.
|Do something creative with that pocket of time!|
I combined all of these concepts with my love of making lists, and made a list of 10 things I could do to further my goals for the year, all of which can be done in little pockets of time. Some of them are one-time tasks that I can cross off, and others are ideas that I can keep using.
10 Quick Ways to Progress
- Plan our next meal and make the shopping list
- Take a very short walk (anything more than 5 minutes is a win)
- Write a blog post (hello!)
- Sort one folder of digital photos
- Clean up a small space (counter, shelf, drawer)
- Read a few pages of a book for my PMP certification credit on my phone
- Figure out how I'll get exercise tomorrow (or today if there's time!)
- Come up with 5 Paleo breakfast options
- Update my Etsy shop incoming order notes
- Create a "template" for meals to make planning easier (eg 2 vegetables, a protein, etc)
Now my challenge is to figure out WHERE to keep this list so I'll see it. I have a OneNote notebook online which I can access on my laptop and phone, but I haven't gotten into the habit of using it. I need this list to be "in my face" so I can avoid the siren song of Facebook and the false promises of a clear Inbox.
But I know it's working, because just reading this list gets me fired up to DO SOMETHING instead of zoning out online. Thoughts?